How to Clean Fabric Dining Room Chairs

How to Clean Fabric Dining Room Chairs

11th Jun 2021

Posted by Kayla Wilson on 11th Jun 2021

Fabric and upholstered dining chairs are frequently used as a key feature of the dining room by using bold colours and fabrics to add colour and texture to the room. Due to the nature of being used in a dining room these chairs are at high risk of spills and stains, especially in a family home with young children. We've compiled some top tips for how to clean fabric dining room chairs whether it's for cleaning up spillages or just maintaining your dining chairs to keep them looking good year after year.

General Fabric Chair Cleaning and Maintenance

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Even the toughest chair fabrics will be prone to fading after prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. In some areas of your home this may be difficult to avoid, such as conservatories and open kitchens with big windows. Make use of curtains and blinds when you're not using the room to prevent harsh sunlight from reaching your dining chairs.

Vacuum Your Dining Chairs

As careful as you might be you can't avoid crumbs! They get everywhere. Vacuum your fabric dining chairs regularly to keep dust and crumbs out of the nooks and crevices of the fabric stitching. Over time that dust can embed itself in the fabric so regular vacuuming will get ahead of this.

Avoid Harsh Cleaners

For regular maintenance a soft cloth and warm water should be sufficient for removing surface dirt and wiping away dust. You should avoid harshcleaning products on your fabric dining chairs as these could permanently stain or damage the chair fabric. Harsh cleaning products could be:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Abrasive Cleaners
  • Strong Acids
  • Alkalis

This is not a comprehensive list and you should carefully check cleaning products before using them on your fabric dining chairs.

Professional Cleaning Services

Depending on the fabric type it may be worth having a "spring clean" equivalent for professional cleaning services on your dining chairs. The investment each year will help keep your chairs looking good as new and last for longer.

How to Clean Fabric Chairs After Spills

Knocks and spillages in the dining room will happen easily and the best course of action is to act quick when this happens. If a stain is left for too long then it will dry in and further embed itself into the chair fabric.

Liquid Spills

Mop these up immediately with a clean towel and blot the stain to remove any excess liquid on the surface and upper layers of the chair fabric. Don't press to hard or you risk pushing the liquid further into the layers of the chair. Work your way from the outside of the stain inwards so you can stop the liquid stain spreading further.

Tea and Coffee

Blot the stain as above first with an absorbent cloth to remove the majority of the liquid first. Use white vinegar and alcohol (equal amounts) and soak a microfibre cloth with the solution and then gently dab the tea or coffee stain with the cloth. Then use an absorbent cloth afterwards by gently pressing into the fabric.

Soft Drinks

Mop up as much of the excess liquid as possible, then dab the stain with water and warm glycerine. Blot the area with a dry towel and then clean with cold water.

Alcoholic Drinks

Use a clean cloth and dampen it with surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol) and gently dab the stain. Blot the area with cold water mixed with a liquid detergent – it may be necessary to do this more than once. Dry the area with a towel then dab again with cold water and blot dry.

Fruit Juice and Red Wine

Blot as much of the excess liquid away and then dab immediately with a mixture of surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol) and water – a ratio of 3:1.

Chocolate, Ice Cream, Desserts

Scrape any excess residue away using a clean knife, spot clean using water mixed with a liquid detergent. Blot dry and then clean with cold water.

Grease and Butter

Scrape away any solid pieces first with a knife to remove any excess oil, then apply a mixture of water mixed with liquid detergent. Blot the stain dry and clean using cold water.


Excess blood should be immediately removed using a cloth, the stain should then be blotted with neat white vinegar, then cleaned with cold water.

Choose Stain Resistant Fabric Dining Chairs

You can reduce dining chair maintenance and cleaning by choosing fabrics which have a higher resistance to stains. This is particularly useful if you have young children who are prone to dropping food and spilling drinks when at the dining table. Here's some examples of fabric dining room chairs which are a great low maintenance option.

Leather or Faux Leather

Choosing leather or faux leather dining room chairs is a great low maintenance option thanks to its semi-waterproof properties. If you act quick and mop up stains or spillages then there's a low chance or permanent stains on your dining chairs. For regular maintenance they simply need a vacuum once per week to remove crumb and dust build up and a wipe down with a damp cloth for more stubborn dirt.